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Impeach Bush--Index 44

If and/or when Iran responds militarily, Israel will do what it does best - play the victim.

January 26, 2007
Israel tries to cut off Tehran from world markets
Israel is launching a campaign to isolate Iran economically and to soften up world opinion for the option of a military strike aimed at crippling or delaying Tehran's uranium enrichment programme.

Pressure will be applied to major US pension funds to stop investment in about 70 companies that trade directly with Iran, and to international banks that trade with its oil sector, cutting off the country's access to hard currency. The aim is to isolate Tehran from the world markets in a campaign similar to that against South Africa at the height of apartheid.

January 24, 2007
Reality Check: Bush's State Of The Union Speech
"We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, in a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs so far," Bush said.

A WISC-TV analysis found this statement "needs clarification."

Bush doesn't count the job losses early in his administration. With that factored in, the true number of new jobs is 3.7 million.

Republicans say they support the war and the troops but then refuse to support the taxes necessary to pay for that support.

An Impeachable Offense

January 20, 2007
Military case workers laid off
Army Times : Defense Department officials have laid off most of their case workers who help severely injured service members, sources said.

The case workers for the Military Severely Injured Center serve as advocates for wounded service members who have questions or issues related to benefits, financial resources and their successful return to duty or reintegration into civilian life — all forms of support other than medical care.

"I'm just livid about this," said Janice Buckley, Washington state chapter president for Operation Homefront.

She was notified that the two case workers at Fort Lewis were given short notice that their jobs were ending, but she has no further information.

This article is on par with reporting these days. Murtha says we need $100 billion more taxes to pay for Bush's war. Gingrich talks about not winning and is never asked how he'd pay for the war he says he supports. The media needs to grow up.

Gingrich also says "perception of defeat could embolden American enemies." Cute, but a return to reality may help. We're losing a war in a country that has no military to speak of. Bush has already made us look weak and he's already embolden our enemies. Besides, even right wingers like William F. Buckley say the war is lost.

January 24, 2007
John Murtha: Military faces $100 billion shortfall
WASHINGTON -- Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania yesterday warned that the nation's armed forces face a $100 billion shortfall in equipment because of the stress of repeated deployments in Iraq.

In an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he also said the thousands of new American troops heading to Baghdad to quell the city's violence will confront far more difficult combat conditions -- street fighting, unseen enemies, roadside bombs -- than he did as a soldier serving in Vietnam 40 years ago.

The Bush White House broke the law but promises to stop now that Democrats have regained control of congress. Presidents that break the law should be impeached and removed from office.

An Impeachable Offense

January 26, 2007
Justice wants spying lawsuit dropped
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration sought on Thursday to drop its appeal of a federal court ruling that concluded the government's domestic spying program is unconstitutional, saying the entire issue is moot since the surveillance now is monitored by a secret court.

Responding, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said they would continue to push for their day in court since President Bush retains authority to continue the warrantless spying program.

January 24, 2007
Carl Bernstein: Bush Administration Has Done 'Far Greater Damage' Than Nixon
NEW YORK: In an online chat at washingtonpost.com on Wednesday afternoon, Carl Bernstein, the famed Watergate reporter at that paper and now writing articles for Vanity Fair, took several hard shots at the current Bush administration -- almost every time he was asked about the Nixon era. It came just as news of the death of former Watergate ringleader E. Howard Hunt was circulating widely.

"In terms of small-bore (but dangerous) characters like Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy with their schemes, I doubt that any presidency approaches the criminality of the Nixon White House. But the Watergate conspiracy--to undermine the constitution and use illegal methods to hurt Nixon's political opponents and even undermine the electoral system--was supervised by those at the very top.

"In the current administration we have seen from the President down -- especially Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Gonzales, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld -- a willingness to ignore the great constitutional history of the United States -- to suspend, really, many of the constitutional guarantees that have made us a nation apart, with real freedoms unknown elsewhere, unrestricted by short-term political objectives of our leaders.

"Then there are the Geneva conventions: Who would have dreamed that, in our lifetime, our leaders would permit their flagrant abuse, would authorize torture, 'renditions' to foreign-torture chambers, suspension of habeus corpus, illegal surveillance of our own citizens....

"But perhaps worst, has been the lying and mendacity of the president and his men and women--in the reasons they cited for going to war, their conduct of the war, their attempts to smear their political opponents.

"Nixon and his men lied and abused the constitution to horrible effect, but they were stopped.

Proving once again that military justice is an oxymoron.

January 25, 2007
U.S. soldier sentenced to 18 years after pleading guilty to murder in Iraqi detainees' deaths
FORT CAMPBELL, Kentucky: A 101st Airborne Division soldier was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to murdering an Iraqi detainee and taking part in the killings of two others, saying he went along with a plan to make it look like they were escaping.

Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, 22, was one of four soldiers from the division's 3rd Brigade "Rakkasans" who were accused in the detainees' deaths during a May 9 raid on the Muthana chemical complex in Samarra, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

January 22, 2007
Most believe country is on the wrong track
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans seem sour on the state of the union in advance of President Bush's address on the subject. A poll finds most believe the country is on the wrong track - a complete flip from five years ago.

Most people also are not confident that Bush and the Democrats who now control Congress and share responsibility with him for running the country can work together to solve its problems, an Associated Press-AOL News poll finds.

And only a minority think he is honest - 44 percent, down from 53 percent two years ago.

January 24, 2007
Republicans Beat Up on Bush After Speech
Jan. 24, 2007 — Dozens of Republican leaders joined Democrats in taking aim at President Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

And Virginia Republican John Warner, a powerful member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who opposes the surge but is against Hagel's nonbinding resolution, was more complimentary of Democratic Sen. Jim Webb's response than he was of Bush's speech.

After praising Bush for his "gracious" introduction of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Warned added that Webb's "heartfelt" message "earned the respect of military families across America.

An Impeachable Offense

January 24, 2007
Bush Portrayal of 'The Enemy' Often Flawed
In his State of the Union address last night, President Bush presented an arguably misleading and often flawed description of "the enemy" that the United States faces overseas, lumping together disparate groups with opposing ideologies to suggest that they have a single-minded focus in attacking the United States.

Under Bush's rubric, a country such as Iran -- which enjoys diplomatic representation and billions of dollars in trade with major European countries -- is lumped together with al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat," Bush said, referring to the different branches of the Muslim religion.

Similarly, Bush asserted that Shia Hezbollah, which has won seats in the Lebanese government, is a terrorist group "second only to al-Qaeda in the American lives it has taken." Bush is referring to attacks nearly a quarter-century ago on a U.S. embassy and a Marine barracks when the United States intervened in Lebanon's civil war by shelling Hezbollah strongholds. Hezbollah has evolved into primarily an anti-Israeli militant organization -- it fought a war with Israel last summer -- but the European Union does not list it as a terrorist organization.

January 24, 2007
General: Army increase will cost $70B
WASHINGTON (AP) - Increasing the size of the Army, strained by America's two ongoing wars, will cost an estimated $70 billion, a top Army general said Tuesday.

The Army's preliminary estimate is that it would cost $70 billion to increase its size and the funds would be spread over budget years 2009 through 2013, Speakes told a defense writers group Tuesday .

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has said that the service budget jumps $1.2 billion with each 10,000 soldiers that it recruits and trains. Speakes said the $70 billion figure includes everything - from equipment to pay to health benefits. No figure was immediately available for the increase in the Marine Corps.

January 23, 2007
Libby: White House sacrificed him for Rove
WASHINGTON - Top White House officials tried to blame vice presidential aide "Scooter" Libby for the 2003 leak of a CIA operative's identity to protect President Bush's political strategist, Karl Rove, Libby's defense attorney said Tuesday as his perjury trial began and the first witness took the stand.

"Not going to protect one staffer and sacrifice the guy that was asked to stick his neck in the meat grinder," the note said, according to Wells.

January 23, 2007
Democrats to Bush: You're no longer solely in charge
WASHINGTON -- Democrats blistered President Bush's war policy Tuesday night, challenging him to redeem the nation's credibility -- and his own -- with an immediate shift toward a diplomatic end to the bloody conflict in Iraq.

"The president took us into this war recklessly," the Democrats' chosen messenger, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, said in response to Bush's State of the Union address Tuesday evening. "We are now, as a nation, held hostage to the predictable -- and predicted -- disarray that has followed."

January 22, 2007
Draft of Landmark U.N. Climate Study
"Certainly, it will say that global warming is happening, and secondly, that it is due to humans," said Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and one of the lead authors of the report. "The whole weight of the evidence has simply increased to show that stuff is already happening."

Basic findings, which scientists do not expect to change before the Feb. 2 publication, include even more certainty — greater than 90 percent — than they had five years ago that people are driving the global rise in average temperatures since the mid-20th century.

An Impeachable Offense

January 26, 2007
Scarcity of safe vehicles in Iraq deemed worse
WASHINGTON //  After nearly four years of war in Iraq, the Pentagon's effort to protect its troops against roadside bombs is in disarray, with soldiers and Marines having to swap access to scarce armored vehicles and the military unsure whether it has the money or industrial capacity to produce the safe vehicles it says the troops need.

On Jan. 10, The Sun reported that most of the 21,500 troops President Bush has ordered to Iraq as reinforcements will not have access to specialized blast-resistant armored vehicles because they are in such short supply.

An Impeachable Offense

January 26, 2007
EU states aware of CIA misdoings
Still digging for the truth about European governments' role in CIA activities... A special committee of the European Parliament has approved a report that presents a dark view of Britain, Poland, Germany, Italy and other EU states. It alleges that they were aware of American secret intelligence agency flights over Europe, and the abduction of suspected terrorists to detention centres.

The European Parliament committee has also upheld the complaint of Murat Kurnaz. The German-born Turkish national was arrested in Pakistan and imprisoned for four years in Guantanamo. The life-long resident of Germany was not said to represent any terrorist threat, and the Americans offered to send him back to Germany in 2002. Berlin turned down the offer. The case reflects badly on current Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeyer, who is at the centre of suspicions that Germany tried to prevent the detainee from returning there. Kurnaz was eventually freed last summer.

January 18, 2007
Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine
Then, in the late 1970's, came deregulation, and the quality-news incentive began to erode. As the Federal Communications Commission relaxed programming standards, owners no longer routinely wrote off their news budgets in red ink. They found that, by treating news as entertainment, it could be just as profitable. So they began taking calls from those pesky "consultants." And they were won over by their brassy concepts ("Eyewitness News" et al); by their focus groups, which (surprise!) preferred young, good-looking newscasters to seasoned, avuncular ones; and, inevitably, by their ideas on cutting budgets.

Experienced journalists were laid off wholesale; novices willing to work long hours at minimal salaries took their place. The savings went toward fancier sets and glitzier graphics. Stories that were less newsworthy but more visually compelling moved higher in newscasts. "If it bleeds it leads" became the new standard.

January 21, 2007
Republicans in Congress are reaching for life vests
For the legislators of today, this problem is largely framed in terms of Bush's proposal to send 21,500 additional soldiers to Iraq. In the next few weeks, the House and the Senate will take up resolutions opposing the "surge." Though these measures will be non-binding, they will amount to a no-confidence test for the Bush presidency. Losing his own party's support on the war would be an unprecedented repudiation, marking the end of Bush's ability to govern or lead. If you are a House or Senate Republican, how do you decide whether to join the dissidents or stick with Bush?

January 18, 2007
Bush's damage to the military can't be easily undone
Even if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended tomorrow, the damage that's been done to our Army and Marine Corps is incalculable, and from past bitter experience after Vietnam, it's a good bet that repairing that damage will take a decade or more and cost trillions.

That means that long after Bush and his deputies have retired to their gated compounds and a $500 million presidential library, we'll be less able to defend our nation in a new era made far deadlier by their disastrous decisions.

Their war-and-peace decisions, warped by arrogance and ignorance, will haunt all of us, and the postponed sacrifices will come due with a vengeance.

Another huge story ignored by the US media.

January 17, 2007
Cheap, safe drug cures most cancers
Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks.

An Impeachable Offense

January 17, 2007
Defense official says Pentagon hid unspent funds in accounts
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has hidden at least $1.4 billion in other agencies' accounts instead of returning unspent money to the U.S. Treasury, the Defense Department's internal watchdog told Congress Wednesday.

Thomas Gimble, the Pentagon's acting inspector general, said Pentagon offices between 2002 and 2005 used the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Interior Department "to 'park' or 'bank' funds that were expiring."

GSA and Interior then spent the money on Pentagon contracts, circumventing the law, Gimble said.

January 19, 2007
How Ghost Soldiers Are Bleeding the Iraqi Army of Guns and Money
He expressed most concern over the "ghost soldiers". "The brigade, for instance, will submit a pay roster to the MoD every month," he said. "Let's say it has 2,000 names; 1,700 names may actually exist. What happens to the money for the other 300 people? It gets divided among various people, various key personnel in the brigade, especially the brigade general."

Colonel Sabih wonders how he can ever win the confidence of Fallujah residents when his Army is too weak to challenge groups such as al-Qaeda.

"On their own, they [Fallujah residents] would trust the Army, but by force, they are obliged to trust the insurgents."

At a minimum the FBI lied. I don't see heads rolling. Why do you think that is?

January 23, 2007
Report chides FBI for handling of Foley case
WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department's inspector general admonished the FBI on Monday for its handling of the page scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley, saying the bureau failed to follow up on suggestive e-mail between the Florida Republican and a former male page and gave inaccurate statements to the public about the case.

The report also criticized the bureau for public comments it made about the advocacy group complaint.

Justice officials said at the time that the advocacy group had provided "heavily redacted" e-mail and refused to provide information about the source of the e-mail, indicating that was the reason the FBI did not pursue an investigation earlier.

"The OIG concluded that such statements were not accurate," the report found. "The e-mails were not heavily redacted and the evidence showed that the FBI did not seek additional information from CREW."

January 19, 2007
Judge sends Ney to prison for 30 months
WASHINGTON - Former Republican Rep. Bob Ney was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison Friday for trading political favors for golf trips, campaign donations and other gifts in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

Ney, the first congressman convicted in the federal bribery investigation involving lawmakers, their aides and Bush administration officials, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy and making false statements.

January 20, 2007
How modern conservatives use the Good Book to lambaste gays
The problem, too, the film points out, is the masses blindly accept biblical interpretations offered by these popular personalities rather than read and study for themselves. As a result, historical context is ignored, as are broader and supplementary materials, said the Rev. Laurence Keene, a soon-to-retire sociology professor at Pepperdine University.

"I have a soft spot in my heart for literalists because I used to be one," he said in the film. "There's nothing wrong with a fifth-grade understanding of God [or the Bible], as long as you're in the fifth grade."

January 19, 2007
GOP Chairman: 2008 election looks bad
WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 — Ken Mehlman, the departing chairman of the Republican National Committee, warned on Thursday that his party would suffer even more devastating losses in 2008 than it did in 2006 if it did not reach out to minorities and address voter concerns about ethics.

He said that if Republican officials shrugged off the repudiation of the party in the 2006 elections they would lose the White House in 2008 and remain in the minority in Congress indefinitely. He said the party had to recommit itself to political reform, fiscal restraint and personal ethics.

January 20, 2007
Poll: Americans Trust Democrats in Iraq
Bush's Iraq plan isn't doing anything for his personal approval rating either; it's again stuck at its lowest point in the history of the poll (31 percent). Meanwhile, the new Democratic-controlled Congress is getting relatively high marks. And 55 percent actually trust Congressional Dems on U.S. policy in Iraq, far more than the 32 percent who trust their commander in chief.

While Democrats and Republicans have roundly criticized Bush's proposal, the president—who received his lowest ratings so far for his handling of the war (24 percent) and terrorism (41 percent)—told a group of U.S. television stations this week that "I believe it will work." He is in the minority. Nearly half of all respondents to the NEWSWEEK poll (45 percent) say they "strongly oppose" the plan. Nine in 10 Democrats (92 percent), 70 percent of independents and close to a third (31 percent) of Republicans disapprove.

Bush will lie his ass off and the media will let him get away with it. Watch! He'll try to take credit for the falling deficits, but in reality social security surpluses caused the entire drop.

The Comptroller says massive tax increases, massive spending cuts and entitlement reform are necessary. He also says Congress has to do all three at the same time. The GOP also passed an unfunded multi-trillion dollar Medicare Rx plan which forced 15 states to sue. The GOP should be ignored on budget issues (and foreign policy). The Bush debt stands at just a hair under $3 trillion. Republicans don't have the moral authority to talk about balanced budgets after what they've done.

January 19, 2007
Conservatives Demand No Tax Hike as Part of Entitlement Reform
Although the federal deficit dropped from its all-time high of $413 billion in 2004 to $258 billion last year, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker testified to the Senate Budget Committee last week it dropped only because of the Social Security surplus.

Conservative tax strategists convened on Capitol Hill earlier this week to give the President a firm message: Secure entitlement reform without a tax increase.

January 18, 2007
Pentagon sees U.S. war cost in Iraq rising
WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The steadily rising Iraq war price tag will reach about $8.4 billion a month this year, Pentagon spokesmen said on Thursday, as heavy replacement costs for lost, destroyed and aging equipment mount.

The Pentagon has been estimating last year's costs for the increasingly unpopular war at about $8 billion a month, having increased from a monthly "burn rate" of around $4.4 billion during the first year of fighting in fiscal 2003.

January 19, 2007
Pelosi Poll Higher Than Gingrich
Thirty-four percent of respondents gave the 11-term California representative a favorable rating, up from 27 percent who did so in a poll conducted in December. Forty-one percent of those surveyed -- a plurality -- said they still hadn't heard enough about her to form an impression, down from 50 percent who had no opinion in December. Twenty-one percent rated her unfavorably, a number that is unchanged from the December poll.

Gingrich Precedent

By contrast, a Los Angeles Times poll in January 1995 found that Gingrich, who engineered the Republican congressional landslide in 1994, had more unfavorable ratings, at 39 percent, than favorable, at 26 percent. In September 1996, almost two years after he became speaker, Gingrich's negative rating reached 54 percent.

With another election less than two years away the GOP came to understand their reality has changed.

January 18, 2007
Senate passes Democrats' ethics bill
WASHINGTON — The Senate, responding to voter frustration with corruption and special interest influence in Washington, on Thursday overwhelmingly approved far-reaching ethics and lobbying reform legislation.

Under the bill, passed 96-2, senators will give up gifts and free travel from lobbyists, pay more for travel on corporate jets and make themselves more accountable for the pet projects they insert into bills.

January 19, 2007
Climate Change Worries US Business
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ten major U.S. corporations are joining environmental groups to press The coalition, including Alcoa Inc., General Electric Co., DuPont Co. and Duke Energy Corp., plans to publicize its recommendations on Monday, a day ahead of the president's annual State of the Union address, the Natural Resources Defense Council said.

The group, known as the United States Climate Action Partnership, also includes Caterpillar Inc., PG&E, the FPL Group, PNM Resources Inc., BP America Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

The lawlessness in this White House went under reported for years so just about everyone thought they could get away with breaking our laws. Guess again.

An Impeachable Offense

January 19, 2007
GSA Chief Scrutinized For Deal With Friend
The chief of the U.S. General Services Administration attempted to give a no-bid contract to a company founded and operated by a longtime friend, sidestepping federal laws and regulations, according to interviews and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Did we cause the Soviet Union to fall? That's nonsense. The people of the former USSR were given the right to "free elections" for the first time in over 70 years and they "voted" communists out of office. Suggesting we won the Cold War is uninformed opinion.

January 19, 2007
Ex-Rice speechwriter: She doesn't have 'vaguest notion' of Middle East history
Garfinkle added, "No one in a senior position in this administration seems to have even the vaguest notion of modern Middle Eastern history."

"The reason that I cite some of these other times, like Europe, is that it is so clear in everybody's mind that the United States and its allies came out victorious at the end of the Cold War," she said in Kuwait. "But if you...look at the events that ultimately lead to that, you would have thought that this was failing every single day between 1945-1946 and probably 1987 or 1988."

Why did it take the White House so long to inform us? The launch took place January 11 and this article is dated the 19th.

A few basic realities; first, the US can't do squat because we need their money to finance the Bush debt. Second, we need their markets to keep our economy humming and third, we need their cheap products so US business can continue to make record profits off of their cheap labor.

January 19, 2007
China hails satellite killer
In the first such test since the cold war era, the White House confirmed that China had used a medium-range ballistic missile, launched from the ground, to destroy an ageing weather satellite more than 500 miles into space. "We are aware of it and we are concerned, and we made it known," the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, told reporters.

This White House says one thing one day and then does the exact opposite the next day. Never before has our government lied to our faces so often and without consequences. The media (and the Democrats) need to take Bush down a few more notches.

An Impeachable Offense

January 19, 2007
Wiretap review plan is still unclear
Disputing the suggestion that the warrantless program, run by the National Security Agency, had been "terminated," Gonzales said, "It took us a period of time to develop what we thought would be an acceptable legal argument that would be acceptable to the FISA court."

January 19, 2007
House Democrats pass 6-bill agenda in first 100 hours
WASHINGTON -- House Democrats crossed the finish line yesterday in their race to pass a six-bill agenda in the first 100 hours of the new Congress -- getting there 13 hours ahead of schedule.

From noon, Jan. 4, when the 110th Congress opened, the House had been in session 87 hours when, shortly after 6 p.m. yesterday, it passed the last of the "Six for '06" bills that Democrats promised to deliver within 100 hours of assuming power.

No law passed by Congress can remove or tamper with previous treaties signed by the US, including the Geneva Conventions. Torture of any kind is strictly forbidden; name, rank and serial number, period.

An Impeachable Offense

January 18, 2007
Rules for terror suspect trials: Hearsay, coerced testimony OK
Last September, Congress — then led by Republicans — sent Bush a new law granting wide latitude in interrogating and detaining captured enemy combatants. The legislation prohibited some abuses of detainees, including mutilation and rape, but granted the president leeway to decide which interrogation techniques were permissible.

Passage of the bill, which was backed by the White House, followed more than three months of debate that included angry complaints by Democrats about the administration's interrogation policies, and a short-lived rebellion by some Republican senators.

January 17, 2007
Senators To Target Deferred Compensation
The Senate Finance Committee is considering a proposal to sharply limit the earnings corporate executives and other highly paid employees can place tax-free into deferred compensation plans, one of the most popular executive benefits in corporate America.

Republican presidents try to delude us into thinking they're making us safer, but in the REAL world both Reagan and Bush made the US and the world less safe.

January 2007
Doomsday Clock Moves to Five Minutes to Midnight
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.

During the 2004 presidential election cycle (and debate) disputes between John Kerry and the Catholic Church were widely reported. But reports about the Methodist Church opposing nearly everything Bush was doing were ignored by the media and pundits. Had the media done their job, Bush wouldn't have gotten away with saying he was a Christian.

January 19, 2007
Clergy unveil petition as president leans 'heavily' toward university as site
Already facing sharp questions from its faculty, Southern Methodist University is now being pressed by some Methodist clergy to drop its pursuit of the Bush library.

Petition organizers say some of Mr. Bush's actions, such as invading Iraq, detaining prisoners without a trial and authorizing the use of torture, violate Methodist beliefs. Mr. Bush and first lady Laura Bush are Methodists.

"As United Methodists, we believe that the linking of his presidency with a university bearing the Methodist name is utterly inappropriate," reads the petition, which is posted at protectsmu.org.

January 15, 2007
Reagan Assistant Secretary of the Treasury: Bush Must Go
The only action that can stop Bush is for both the Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate to call on the White House, tell Bush they know what he is up to and that they will not fall for it a second time. The congressional leadership must tell Bush that if he does not immediately desist, he will be impeached and convicted before the week is out. Can a congressional leadership that lives in fear of the Israel Lobby perform this task?

January 17, 2007
Democrats drying up oil industry tax breaks
WASHINGTON — When oil company executives came before the Republican-controlled Congress in 2005 to defend their record profits amid high gasoline prices, they were spared the indignity of being sworn in under bright TV lights, as the tobacco chiefs had been a decade earlier.

But with Democrats in charge, perhaps no industry will find the new Congress less hospitable than the oil industry.

That will be underscored Thursday when the House is expected to approve a bill that would repeal billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks passed by the GOP-controlled Congress.

The Bush White House is attempting to get away with breaking the law after they were caught. If a bank robber promises to give the money back after he's caught doesn't he still deserve to go to jail?

The Democratic Congress is forcing Bush to follow the law. What does that say about the GOP?

An Impeachable Offense

January 17, 2007
Secret Court Will Oversee Spying Program
Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The Bush administration, after a year of refusing to allow outside supervision of its domestic eavesdropping program, agreed to seek approval for the electronic surveillance from a secret federal court.

Using this logic, the White House and Attorney General should defer matters of law to the Judiciary and not themselves. But in their little world, they think they get to decide everything without the consent of congress or review by the Courts. Power grabs from the other branches of government are gross violations of the Constitution.

An Impeachable Offense

January 17, 2007
Gonzales: Judges unfit to rule on terror policy
In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Gonzales says judges generally should defer to the will of the president and Congress when deciding national security cases. He also raps jurists who "apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences."

January 16, 2007
Law groups want Pentagon official fired
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior Pentagon official should be fired for suggesting a boycott of American law firms defending detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, four law organizations said in a letter to President Bush on Tuesday.

January 14, 2007
Iraq's billions & the White House connection
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BearingPoint employees gave $117,000 (£60,000) to the 2000 and 2004 Bush election campaigns, more than any other Iraq contractor. Other recipients include three prominent Congressmen on the House of Representatives' defence sub-committee, which oversees defence department contracts.

One of the biggest single contributors to BearingPoint's in-house political fund was James Horner, who heads the company's emerging markets business which is working in Iraq and Afghanistan. He donated $5,000 in August 2005.

The company's shares have collapsed to a third of their value when the firm listed in 2001, and it faces being thrown out of the New York Stock Exchange altogether. Despite annual revenues of $3.4bn, the company made a loss of $722m in 2005. Those figures were released only last month, nine months late, and the company has not yet been able to report any fully audited figures at all for 2006.

January 12, 2007
Bipartisan agreement: Bush's Iraq plan a loser
Lawmakers said they had little confidence that the Iraqi government has the capacity to deliver on promises to take the lead in cracking down on violent militias and providing security in Baghdad, as the president's plan contemplates. Democrats and Republicans alike said they were concerned that Bush's plan, announced Wednesday night in a prime-time nationally televised address, is too little and too late, and does not appear very different than previous efforts to secure the capital.

January 12, 2007
Bush's approval rating hits new low
WASHINGTON - Public approval of Congress has edged up a bit now that Democrats are back in control, but it's still nothing to write home about. Approval for the way Congress is handling its job rose to 32 percent in the latest AP-Ipsos poll, up from a meager 27 percent a month earlier. That puts Congress on par with President Bush, whose 32 percent approval rating represents a new low for him in AP-Ipsos polling.

January 11, 2007
U.S. Comptroller sees long-term need for tax hikes
WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Tax increases are essential to avoiding long-term fiscal ruin and overcoming a "demographic tsunami" that would eventually swamp the U.S. budget with senior citizen health care and retirement costs, Comptroller General David Walker told Congress on Thursday.

But Walker also warned the new Democrat-controlled committee that cutting spending will not be enough.

January 15, 2007
U.S. Comptroller: Surge Costs Don't Add Up
It is unclear what much of the $5.6 billion is to be spent on, Walker said. Walker and others have complained that tens of billions of dollars are spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan annually with little explanation of what the money is spent on.

The wars have been funded largely through emergency supplemental appropriations, but the requests provide Congress with scant detail on spending.

January 16, 2007
Over 1,000 active duty military members signed petitions against the war
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Several anti-war groups that include members of the military on Tuesday delivered petitions against the war in Iraq to U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat who's long been against the conflict.

Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out sponsored the "appeal for redress" petition, which was signed by more than 1,000 active duty military members, according to Kucinich's office.

January 17, 2007
Anti-Surge Measure to Have Bipartisan Stamp
WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 — Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, an outspoken Republican critic of the administration's Iraq policy, will join two leading Democrats in introducing a resolution opposing President Bush's buildup of troops in Iraq, putting a bipartisan stamp on the looming Congressional showdown over the war.

Lawmakers and aides said Mr. Hagel had been consulting for the past few days with the two Democrats, Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Carl Levin of Michigan, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, to develop the wording of the resolution, which could be introduced as early as Wednesday.

January 15, 2007
Poll: Bush's new Iraq strategy fails to rally public support
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, more than 6 of 10 people back the idea of a non-binding congressional resolution expressing opposition to Bush's plan to commit an additional 21,500 U.S. troops to Iraq.

Even so, by 51% to 36%, those surveyed have more confidence in congressional Democrats to handle Iraq than in the president.

January 16, 2007
Republican Congressman Introduces Resolution to Stop Bush's War Making Powers
Enter Rep. Walter Jones, Republican of North Carolina.

The day after Bush's threat to Iran, Jones introduced a Joint Resolution, "Concerning the Use of Military Force by the United States Against Iran." Under HJR 14, "Absent a national emergency created by attack by Iran, or a demonstrably imminent attack by Iran, upon the United States, its territories, possessions or its armed forces, the president shall consult with Congress, and receive specific authorization pursuant to law from Congress, prior to initiating any use of force on Iran."

Jones' resolution further declares, "No provision of law enacted before the date of the enactment of this joint resolution shall be construed to authorize the use of military force by the United States against Iran."

Why didn't republicans keep pay as you go? Because republicans wanted to cut taxes and they knew tax cuts would blow a hole in the budget the size of the Grand Canyon. This leads us to the next question, why does anyone vote for morons?

January 6, 2007
House Dems adopt limits on 'earmarks,' deficit spending
The so-called pay-as-you-go budget rules were passed with broad support as part of a package that also requires lawmakers to disclose which "earmarks," or spending items, they have added to bills. The explosion of earmarks in recent years -- including the infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska -- fueled voters' anger and contributed to Republicans' election losses last fall.

Unlike the Concord Coalition I opposed the Bush and Reagan debt creating tax cuts from day one. The Coalition seems to gear up after republicans spend years failing and before it seems likely a Democratic will be in the White House and or Democrats take control of the Congress.

Where was the Coalition when Bush cut taxes; when he created the first trillion of debt, the second trillion of debt, and now just days away from three trillions of debt? They were deep in their slumber - waiting for Democrats to take power so they'd be saddled with fixing what Republicans have done. My opinion of the Coalition is it's worthless.

January 17, 2007
The Concord Coalition is Back
THE CONCORD Coalition is back, the group of bipartisan elders founded in 1992 to sound the clarain call for budget balance. Last Sunday, the Coalition bought a full-page ad in The New York Times, warning of the costs of Social Security and Medicare and the dangers of continuing federal deficits.

The Coalition projected the future "un funded" expenses of Medicare and Social Security at $39 trillion. The ad included an ominous chart showing mandated programs such as these plus interest on the national debt eating up the entire federal budget in just 13 years.

January 13, 2007
Official Attacks Top Law Firms Over Detainee
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 — The senior Pentagon official in charge of military detainees suspected of terrorism said in an interview this week that he was dismayed that lawyers at many of the nation's top firms were representing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and that the firms' corporate clients should consider ending their business ties.

The comments by Charles D. Stimson, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, produced an instant torrent of anger from lawyers, legal ethics specialists and bar association officials, who said Friday that his comments were repellent and displayed an ignorance of the duties of lawyers to represent people in legal trouble.

January 14, 2007
Administration leaving out important details on Iraq
But the president's account understates by at least 15 months when Shiite death squads began targeting Sunni politicians and clerics. It also ignores the role that Iranian-backed Shiite groups had in death squad activities prior to the Samarra bombing.

Blaming the start of sectarian violence in Iraq on the Golden Dome bombing risks policy errors because it underestimates the depth of sectarian hatred in Iraq and overlooks the conflict's root causes. The Bush account also fails to acknowledge that Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups stoked the conflict.

President Bush met at the White House in November with the head of one of those groups: Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. SCIRI's Badr Organization militia is widely reported to have infiltrated Iraq's security forces and to be involved in death squad activities.

January 14, 2007
G.O.P. spitless over Iraq
And leaving Republican leaders confronting the reality that nervous party members, uncertain of Mr. Bush's handling of the war and their own party's legislative appeal, are no longer so tightly bound to the cause.

"Everybody is scared spitless," Mr. Thune, the South Dakota senator, said.

The problems still remains unsolved. The US still lacks intelligence on the insurgency and without good intelligence they can't be defeated. The killing of civilians by US forces only created resentment and hate so Patraeus is partially correct.

January 22, 2007 issue (posted January 16, 2006)
Blame the Top Brass
Petraeus was an exception. While other generals were trying by force to crush the insurgents, Petraeus was working to isolate them by winning the population's hearts and minds. The commander of the 101st Airborne, he labored to pacify Mosul, the area of northern Iraq under his control in the first year after the invasion, by satisfying the people's needs: security, jobs, the repair of local utilities and the rebirth of local democracy. His success there led the press and military establishment to regard him as a "water walker"; the praise heaped on him—NEWSWEEK ran a cover story in July 2004 asking, "Can This Man Save Iraq?"—is qualified only by jealousy.

We live in strange times; failure is rewarded and success to ridiculed. It's in the media, the White House and slowly leaving Congress.

January 10, 2007
At the pundits' table, the losing bet still takes the pot
Lawmakers said they had little confidence that the Iraqi government has the capacity to deliver on promises to take the lead in cracking down on violent militias and providing security in Baghdad, as the president's plan contemplates. Democrats and Republicans alike said they were concerned that Bush's plan, announced Wednesday night in a prime-time nationally televised address, is too little and too late, and does not appear very different than previous efforts to secure the capital.